Jason Calacanis is always good for a laugh:
Calacanis, September 18:
Nice knowing you YouTube.
YouTube is the new Napster and their fate will be the same.
I don’t think any of the big media companies are desperate enough for YouTube’s
traffic to buy their company/impending lawsuits and collapse.
In fact, if someone at the company I worked for made a run at YouTube I would
fight it to my last dying breath for a) our shareholders and b) the fact that
there is no long-term business model stealing people’s content. I know executives
from the other big media/Internet companies and they have a similar "hell
no!" approach to acquiring YouTube. That’s why you see everyone making
their own syndicated video services–we all know that YouTube is on the brink
Calacanis, October 6:
Google to buy YouTube? Perfect match.
This makes total sense to me for a number of reasons:
Congrats to everyone involved… this deal makes total sense.
But sometimes he really does makes sense:
Calacanis, October 7:
Why PayPerPost, their investors, and their advertisers should be
ashamed of themselves.
The fact is no one in the world–NO ONE–wants to be covertly marketed
to. Add to that the fact that PayPerPost enables people you consider your
friends–or who you thought were your friends–to covertly market to you for
profit. That’s really evil in my book.
Jason, here, really puts his finger on something which has been bothering me
for a couple of months. You see, on July 17, I got an email from a friend of
mine – let’s call her E. The subject line was "hot new blog!"
and this is what it said, along with a couple of photos:
I found the craziest, funniest (& saddest) blog! This woman, Emily finds
out her husband’s cheating on her with her best friend… you HAVE TO read
the previous blogs she wrote to catch up–it takes all of 10 min. to read
And now she’s put up a BILLBOARD in NYC! She’s off her rocker — check it
Her blog site:
Pass it on!
I reckon it’s fake. But tell me: How did you find this blog?
And she wrote back:
it was forwarded to me…
So I wrote a blog entry
about That Girl Emily, helping to give it whatever buzz an entry on felixsalmon.com
It didn’t take long for the blog and its associated billboards to be outed
as a cheap publicity stunt for a TV series. But it took a little bit longer
for my friend E to out herself as the author of the blog.
Let’s go back to what Calacanis said: No one wants to be covertly marketed
to, and it’s "really evil" when "friends–or people you thought
were your friends– covertly market to you for profit".
E was anything but transparent about her covert marketing email, and when I
pressed her on it she lied outright for the sake of her covert marketing strategy
– something for which, she later assured me, she was very handsomely paid.
I felt betrayed, and I think now I understand why. It’s one thing to write
a fake blog for money; it’s another thing to abuse your personal relationships
with your friends by lying to them for your paymasters’ sake – especially
when your friends are bloggers with a high Google PageRank and thousands of
visitors per day. Essentially, I was conned by the author of a marketing campaign
into turning my blog into valuable publicity for that campaign. Maybe E thought
it was all a big joke, but I didn’t find it very funny.
If friends of mine send me stuff, and I double-check with them, I will take
them at face value. And if they lie to me, I’m not going to see the joke. Calacanis
is right that Pay Per Post is exactly the same. If bloggers I trust write something
enthusiastic about a product and don’t disclose that they’re being paid to do
so, that’s an abuse of trust and a lie, and I will feel betrayed by
them and I will not understand.